tv MONEY With Melissa Francis FOX Business March 8, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EST
little more than 2% and that longer run might make this more secure, how are we ever going to get around fixing it, period, or if we rip paul ryan a new one with another plan he's ready to unleash as opponents say, you're gog to be damned for even trying. >> well, they have to be. i mean, these politicians are going to have to bite the bullet, and they have to make the tough decisions. neil: tell the truth. the way it's now, it's unsustain. maybe you don't like it, but it's up sustainabl >> 2% does nothing. ridiculous. completely reform it. >> there's these, you know, stubborn bureaucrats like the good professor here, no, no, no. >> if it's not doing anything, why cut it? neil: what would you cut in medicare? no, you would not. >> i would not. neil: you would tax the rich. that's the solution, tax the
rich. >> and close corporate loopholes. neil: close corporate loopholes. when's the last time you offered to cut something? >> that constitutes a cut, closing loopholes constitutes a cut, okay? democrats have to hold the line -- neil: i would so fail your class. we're not making progress, bottom line; right? >> we're not. the whole conversation in washington is disingenuous, a 2% cut here that won't make a difference, but why do it? it's a step in the right direction. neil: the professor says this is a bad step. >> it's not close to big enough. >> we have to take steps. the government eventually has to rain in the balance sheets. this is a step in the right direction. nobody likes it, it's a difficult conversation. neil: the professor won't let us have the conversation. >> not with this medicare advantage program. neil: wish we had more time,
blessedly we don't. be profitable, be well, we'llth. sthaim on stossel? the teacher's union doesn't like my reporting. i'm the probm. there's a solution. they don't like charter schools. >> the doorway of our public schools, take your pound of flesh. >> they don't like a school chancellor with reform. >> so, does he? >> we know it works. let's do what works. >> he wants more money for preschools, but -- >> it doesn't work. >> we know this school works. >> you firedded teacher after one day? >> she was incompetent. >> why does the establishment want to close a successful school? >> as a mom, i beg of you.
>> this kills me. >> why it's hard to fight the education block. that's our show, tonight. >> and now, john stossel. john: schools are lousy. what would you do part of the government's monopoly? one school chancellor fired under performing teachers. that made teachers mad. >> she's misled, misguided, and doing that to other people. >> she's not trained, doesn't know what real teaching is. john: what a terrible choice to lead schools and called the hatchet lady. "time" made her look like a witch. who is this awful person? let's ask her. michelle rhe, joins us from california. you made people mad. >> yes, i did.
>> you fired 36 principals, 200 some teachers, closed school, and eventually pushed out in washington, d.c.. >> yeah. well, remember, that when i took over the district, it was the lowest performing and most distucksal district in the entire country. what i did were things i thought were obvious, close low performing failing schools failing children for decades. i'm going to fire ineffective employees, pay the effective ones more money, cut a central office bureaucracy out of control in half. those were the things i knew needed to get done if we were going to fix the system, and that's when i started getting called all kinds of names, you know, but that was the, you know, this terrible person, but, you know, in my mind, it was just trying to bring common sense to an incredibly dysfunctional system. stossel: you heard the phrase "education blob," do you think
that's fair? >> there is an absolute inertia around a bureaucracy that is, that exists to serve iftsz, the need of adults, and contracts and jobs opposed kids. the system did not become the way itas by accident. people benefited from the dysfunction allowed to keep jobs, contracts, keep their programs going even though they didn't produce results for kids because there was no accountability. when you brought accountability into the system, and when you pushed it, you got reactions. >> you have a dmu book called "radical," and n't think you are radical enough based on the standards of this program, but you were tood radical for washington, d.c., and you were unusual as a democratic, you supported, opposed vouchers, but
now you've changed your mind. >> yeah. you know, i'm a lifelong democrat, and when i was looking eyeball-to-eyeball with the mothers who wanted nothing re than what i wanted for my kids, which was to get a high quality education, i knew i didn't have spots in a high quality dc school for their kids to attend so i thought, you know what? i'm not going to stop this person from taking a $7500 voucher, by the way, less than what we were spending per kid in the district so that they could go to a cat lick or parochial school and get a great education. i was not willing to say to those parents, i'm sorry, you're going to have to continue to send your kid to a failing school while i try to fix the system. john: what you spent in the district is astounding. dc claims it's 19,000 per pupil, and cato says it's 29,000. that's 700,000 per classroom. where's the money go? >> well, this is one of the things that i found was that,
you know, and you hear this a lot in the debates about education reform, you hear people all the time saying what we need in order to fix the system is more money, more money, but the reality is that over the last two to three decades in the country, we have more than doubled and almost tripled money spent on public education per child, and results are stagnant. until we fix the foundational, the fundamental problems that ail the system, then more money and investment will not produce better results. we have to fix the laws and policies that govern how schools are run and whether or not we're putting kids interests before adults' interest, and only after we fix those laws and policies will then an additional investment result in better outcomes for kids. john: fixes it means competition. your group got laws passed in that direction lifting the charter cap in mieshz. bliewk to you. thank you, michelle rhee.
>> thank you. john: one who says she has evil is joe del grosso. at the top of the show, he was in a meeting attacking charter schools and also doesn't like for-profit competition. >> market driven education belos on wall street, not broad street. john: you got a lot of applause for that, joe, thank you for joining us. >> yes. john: bob bowdon, made a movie calmed "the cartel," saying you're a cartel like a conspiracy of people trying to keep prices up, competition out. >> no. you're wrong about that. why keep competition away? >> you said it on the clip saying if it's market driven, it's bad. >> no, i said that i don't like for-profit education. that has nothing to do with competition. if school a wants to compete with school b, there's nothing wrong with than.
non-profit charters are okay and private schools are okay for a voucher according to you? non-profit is okay? >> i'm not for religious institutions involved in public education. now, if you want something different for your child like my mother did for me, find another job, and get it for your child. i went to parochial school. >> if you have money, there's options to pay for private schools, hire tutors or move. >> that's correct. >> if you don't have money, the view is there should be no other options apart from newark public schools? >> correct. >> if you want out, too bad. >> why would you -- >> if you don't have the money, you have to stay. >> if you were a responsible parent, you'd make sure that that school in that community works. >> how would you do that if you go to the school board and they ignore you? >> that's management. you say we need more unions. i agree. that's a good thing. >> i don't remember saying that. if the parenwants to go
october other school because this school fails my kid -- >> no problem. >> or a specialty school, i want to take that tuition money and go elsewhere, you say? >> as long as you can afford it, do anything you like. john: why because the 17 # ,000 spent to send kids to your newark schools, why isn't 15,000 attached -- >> john, i've never called the police in my life. can i get my money back? i never called the fire department. could i get my money back? john: just stuck with the schools you got? >> if newark, a number of murders every day, if i had enough money, could i say to the mayor, i don't want to use the police force, give me the money, and i'll hire my own. >> there's no reasonable ways to pick your own police force. there are reasonable ways to pick the schools and have the money follow the kid. you don't want it to happen because schools are not unionized. >> no, that has nothing to do with it. >> really? >> we have charter schools that
use my union hall because we have a resource center free. i don't care whether they join the union or not. that's nothing to do wth it. i prefer not having charting schools. >> you support the expansion of charter schools in newark? >> ones that work. what i can't support is the fact that we have charter schools that are not working, and we don't hold them accountable. >> if the charter doesn't work, then, and there's competition, if it's a bad one, why would parents pick it? it would go out of business. that's the market working. >> that's not the way it works. john: it could work that way if you didn't have controls. >> if it worked that way, that would be fine, but, unfortunately, it doesn't. john: you stop is it from working not allowing for-profit competition. >> why should education be a profit? what good is if you gain the world, but lose your soul?
john: don't lose my soul -- >> making money is a great thing to me, but,nyway, public education is the last bash ton of democracy. with you work into the door of a good school, there's no religion, you don't hear about the democrats, the republicans, the libertarians, the -- the -- you're there to get the american dream. an education that is supposed to talk about american alues and deliver equality education. that's what i'm for. much of the rhetoric is that him and i talk at each other when really we should be speaking together about how do you improve student performance. >> one thing quick. here's the secret. he wants it to seem like the real issue here is corporatizing privatizers against public schools. corporate people are not the problem. it's the increasing numbers, hundreds of thousands more every year of mostly black and
hispanic parents who want out of his schools, they want out, sign up for charter schools and want voucher. john: a brief break from the complicated discussion to bob's movie called "the cartel," and you may agree. a principal says you judge the district by the number of fancy cars in the administration's parking lot. >> the number of mercedes benz out there, the worst the district is. ♪ john: bob, what's the point? >> the fact is we're told there's not enough money in public education, and, that, in fact, in places like newark, it's over 20,000 per student. john: 400,000 a classroom, what do you do with it? >> i'd like to kno. put it this way, john, it goes
to me, boy, oh, boy, if it went to me, that would be great. john: just disappears in the government monopoly. >> worse thanthat when you think about it. it's a school district whose budget is the same as running a city, a billion dollars. now, where that money goes is certainly not in the pockets of teachers or the custodians or anyone. there's no get rich scheme for a teacher, but, unfortunately, if i -- you know, if i have to look at it and say the truth, there is a lot of waste that goes on and it's taxpayer money, and that's a shame. john: we're out of time, and we agree about that. joe del grosso, thank you, bob bowdon. i should say the problem of american schools, not just schools, but schools are often bad in states that don't have strong union. the problem is the government monopoly, the publishment that fights change and reformers call it "the blob." >> it's like a bloby job java
hut thing that can't be judged. the blob is the unions, janitor's unions, the politicians, and if you try to make a change, the blob says -- >> we don't do that here reck cigs downtown. we have five people to sign off, and the deputy of curriculum has to say it's okay. it's crazy. john: it is, and now it looks like the blob is going to close the best schools in california. why would they do that? the be ones. that's next. ♪
john: you heard about america's lousy schools, but there's some independent public schools that do really well. one chain of three schools? california takes kids from the poorest neighborhood and teaches them so well those kids prosper. the schools were created by a guy named ben chavez. here's what i say. >> give me the worst school in oakland, black, mexican, poke dot, give us the worse school anywhere in america, and we'll take it, and we'll out erform the other schools in five years. jowrn: ben created the model at
the indian haven charter school in the heart of the a rough neighborhood. >> now, these are hard workers here. john: they have the highest test scores in california. you can do that on the same amount the state gives every school? >> well, yeah, less. we get less than every other school. >> the kids in american indian public charter schools are scoring so far above the average for the state for public school children, there's not a word for it. john: here at american indian, they pay some kids to tutor other kids. >> we hire students and pay them. they are excited to make money. reporter: chavez is politically incorrect. >> what do you want to study? >> science. >> science! a mexican in science? yeah, good for you, honey, a rare bird. john: criticized for strict rules. >> you ere in trouble, weren't you, boy?
>> they want us to succeed. >> he had to do pushups. >> you try hard. >> the other school, we didn't have homework, just a page of homework, but here we have six subjects of homework, and the teachers were nicer than here, and here, they are meaner. john: meaner, and yet no student was expelled since the school began in 2000. no way! >> i love fools, the kids who get in trouble because you can take a kid who is acting like a fool or gets in trouble, and use them as an example. it's -- john: a 6th grade student acts out in class sits on the floor in app 8th grade class. >> yes, that's true. embarrassment keeps kids in line. whetr we like it or not. >> at my old school, it was games. here, it's running for ten minutes or running around the block. john: you fire people at your schools. >> they should be. john: you fired a teacher after
one day. >> she was incompetent. john: you could tell in one day? >> yes, she was incompetent. john: attitudes don't sit well with the blob, firing students, provocative racial comments and say he illegally profited from the schools. the blob doesn't like profit. the oakland school board may revoke american indian's charter. there was a hearing about it last week. >> the profit is blurring people in who have no interest in children. >> we can take it back under the public umbrella, keep it in tact and provide a real model for oakland going forward. john: our special correspondent, kennedy, was at the hearing, back under the public umbrella, sounds like the blobments to take over an independent school. >> yeah, the blobments control, and, really hates autonomy as well as teacher's unions. it's about money. they don't want charters to make a profit, but at the same time, if those kids go back into the
oaklands unified school district, ohmland gets millions of dollars from the state and federal government. john: at the hearing those who liked the school spoke too. >> please, do not close this school. as a mom, i beg of you. [cheers and applause] >> we have such a great school. don't take that away from us. >> my kid was always suspended, out of class. my first year, i was always throwing desks, chairs, getting detention. this school fails me. my second year, i'm more mature, i don't get into trouble -- >> mr. president, his time expired. >> oh, come on! [applause] >> just go ahead and finish. [applause] john: they let him finished. he interviewedded parents and students who defend ben chavez. >> whether you're asian, white,
mexican, no matter what, he thinks everyone can do it, and he will make you realize that you can do it, and at the end, you realize that you did it. you're like, okay, you were right. i can do it. >> i love the school. my daughter is doing great at the school. she'd spend the night if the school was a boarding school. >> what do you think about the controversy surrounding the school? >> i think it's a bunch of bs. oakland should really be ashamedded of themselves. this is one of the best schools and one of the best things that happened to oakland, and how is it they are wanting to close our school? john: they are not just capricious, but they are threatened, and chavez did things that might have broken the rules that he made money. >> yeah. there's a lot of accusations. ben may be a deeply flawed map, but the school's work, and that's what the parents are fighting for, and that's what we all want. we want the very best education for the kids, and that's what gets lost in the argument. john: the kids went on to good
colleges, berkeley? >> yes, three graduated from those schools in three years, from berkley. john: because of the training at american indian? >> yes, sir cause of the emphasis on math and literature. spent so much time in the classes, and they finished their ap, their college level courses in high school. john: they do a good job. kennedy concludes a reason they want to close the school is they just don't like ben. this man helps run chavez's school, and, yet, he says things like this about him. >> he's like a monster, all right? no one likes him. why they want to close the school is about him. he's a curse. he was a blessing in establishing the school, but a curse here. i hate to say it, but it's the truth. john: a curse? the monster when we return, we'll meet the curse. he's here. ♪
john john we just told you about the founder of three california charter schools that succeed, teaching kids people said could not be taught. despite the success of the schools, despite the best test scores in california, the oakland school board may shut the schools down. ben, basically, this is because people don't like you. >> yes, they hate me. john: saying you did ilegal profit making thing. >> can you believe that in america? u shouldn't make a profit or educate kids. john: troy flint speaks for the board. ben is here with me. the school should be closed because of him? >> this school should not be closed because of ben. the school should be closed because there's an egregious conflict of interest that's resulting in almost $4 million being stolen from oakland taxpayers.
john: what do you mean "stolen"? >> it's been misappropriated for personal use funneled through contracts into businesses in which they have an ownership interest. if american indians implement proper reforms and deals with the conflict of interest, we're happy to see the school kept open under a responsible, fiscal management entity. john: haven't they done what you want? he's off the board. >> he's off the board, but he's inserted figure heads. we need athird party entity to come in and apply generally accepted accounting principles and stop the history of fraud. john: a history of fraud, ben, you commit fraud. some of the specifics. you charged rent to the school because you own the property. the rent's too high. your company did construction jobs and was paid. true? >> sure did. i own the building. i charged $1.09 a square foot. some schools in the city pay $2
a square foot. john: you paid your wife. >> i sure did. she's the accountant. $150 ,000 a year for her company and she did other charter schools. the next bid was for $300,000. i saved the school $150,000. now they don't use her anymore, but pay a qurter million dollars a year. who is ripping off the taxpayer? john: incurred charges on your personal card, credit card, paid for by the school? >> listen, what happened is the school's credit card was -- it was over extended. couldn't use it, and the secretary on several occasions used to my credit card. charges were made, i turned it in, the school paid the charges, $20 # 45 exactly. i reimbursed the school. they didn't tell that part of the story. he used a word like "stolen," i have not stolen a dime, mr. flint. it's rhetoric.
as a matter of fact, mr. flint, give me -- john: him him the chance to respond. go ahead, troy. >> anyone with interest in viewing the facts can go to the oakland unifieded school district site and review the report. the appendix has text and snapshots of the financial accounting that's clear. it's not just the oakland school board saying this but the county superintendent of schools, the california department of education that found the violations. these are three distinct entities. it seems very coi understand den -- coincidental people are are not involved with schools on a day-to-day basis have the same conclusion. john: part of the education blob. i wonder is maybe he's an awful person and maybe he made a profit that he shouldn't have made, but the kids did really good -- >> it's not about the profit with all do republic, it's about breaking the law in the pursuit of profit. that's a sharp distinction.
john: why talk about closing the school when for less money per student, they do well? u.s. news and world report ranked them number one in oakland. you got your district which is millions of dollars in debt. i would think american indian is are the good guys, and you're the bad guys. >> the students at american indian, the teachers, and the families are the good guys. the people above them in the administration who are taking advantage of their desire to have a good education to enrich themselves in violation of the law are the bad guys. you have to separate the two. john: thank you, troy flint. ben, you don't deny that you have 5 really big ego, you're a monster, and a curse? >> oh, yeah, all of those. i know how to educate kids. ousd does not, ripped off the taxpayer, but i understand they hate competition. i don't work at the school.
♪ john: some don't fight the blob, but escape it and home school. home schooling was once unusual, but as more people realize how bad the government monopoly is, more used it. one and a half million americans are home schooled, most go to college, most do better than the other kids in college. how does home schooling work? well, some parents act like teachers in a classroom. it's structured, but some have
no rules letting the kids learn almost entirely op their own calledded unschooling, and it's getting more attention. 14-year-old jude steffers-wilson's unschooled, and jamie unschools her. amy milstein, why do you unschool? what's it mean? >> learning without a curriculum, learning through your life, things that motivate you internally, things you are interested in. john jon i would have just watched tv all day. >> well, you know, maybe you would have watched tv all day for awhile, but my kids know that i trust them. they know that they can pursue their interests, and they make good decisions about what they do in the day. john: your son is playing mine craft? >> that's the big thing now is mine craft, a video program where you can build things. you learn about building materials and how to set up systems and circuits and, you know, you create this whole
internal world. john: what if they elaxed out? >> they can if they want. generally speaking, you know, they do sometimes, of course, but, you know, that gets old after awhile. john: jude, what do you do? >> i basically do what normal kids do, but notreally. i do it on my own. john: don't you worry you boant learn stuff you need to learn to succeed? >> no. i mean, what do you think i need to learn to succeed? john: math? english, reading. >> i learn math, english. john: how? >> i read, i write. as i said, mr. stossel, yeah, but -- john: why? if i -- when i was your age, think, i mean, i hated school. i would have done nothing. >> so did i. i never fit in. it was never me. it was never me. school just never fit into me. i could not do anything. john: left school at age 12?
>> yes, sir. john: there were discipline problems? >> yes. john: people on your fther's side of the family say, what about the sat's? >> yeah. it's just -- i don't like that. i mean, why -- john: what about them? >> what about the sates? why does -- why do i have to be tested to go to college. i may not go to college when i'm 18, maybe it's 25, 40 #, 50. i don't know. >> there's a lot of colleges that have specific admissions processes for home schooled kids. some of them don't require the sat's, others do, but it's just a small part of what they look at. kids put together portfolios showing the projects they've done, places they worked. >> that's my plan. >> books read, and the universities get a full cture of what the kid's life is like, and as you said, they love home schooled kids and they generally do very well in college. john: people say they don't know how to socialize. they are home alone.
>> uh, a double team now. okay, you want to go first? >> i'll go first. >> okay. >> that's a myth. that's a big myth in home schooling. in fact, the reason my husband and i decided to home school was we knew a family with kids,and they were amazing socially, and that'sst that was the first thing i noticedded was how well they fit in no matter where they were. john: how? >> they live in the world. you know, in nowhere in the world are you segregated by age except in school. john: every three months you send a report to the state? >> the parents, uh-huh. john: the parents, to say what? we're here? he can multiply? >> yeah, basically to tell them what we do. with unschoolers, it's free form more than following a curriculum. for myself, i keep kind of a daily journal of what we do, and then i put that into a report that i know will satisfy the
state regulations. john troy, what's five time nine? >> 45. john john that's right. many say it's a religious thing. many home schoolers are a devout christian. >> i'm not religious at all, and i hope i donned offend anybody, but i'm not religious. i think it's another myth as when you say it's not social. it's not strictly religious. john: started that way, but less so over time. amy, the last word. >> okay. john: this sounds weird to people. >> i know it does, but it's natural if you think about it. we're all self-directed learners at birth. nobody teaches us how to walk with curriculum, nobody teaches us speaking. kids grow up in bilingual households have no problem with two languages, but at five, we decide everything has to be forced on kids, learning has to
be a forced situation. somehow imagineically they'll stop learning on their own. that's not the case. john: thank you amy and jude, good luck to you both. >> thank you. john: my president says the way to improve education is for government to offer more school earlier. after all, everyone loves head start. >> head start has been such an extraordinary success over all these years. john: i thought so, but that's not true. the truth when we come back. ♪
>> tonight, i propose working with states to make high quality preschool available to every single child in america. john: free preschool for every child. why not? makes sense. start them early. who doesn't want more education for kids? my president says when states offer preschool -- >> like georgia or oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job. we know it works. let's do what works.
john: well, ys, but what does work? steven barnett says the president's right and universal preschool is a good thing, but darcy found, well, what did you find? >> it doesn't work. john: it must. you start them early. they must get something out of it. >> it's more fairy tale than fact, and when you look at the head start program, all of the research done,ing inning loong at the students in oklahoma and georgia, you find they might have a few gains in first grade, by by second or third, they look no different than students who have not been to preschool at all, and, n., some children have -- and, in fact, some children come away with worse issues. john: steven, this is what weirded me out when i read about this. it's just intuitive that
preschool and programs like head start should help, and you say they do, but the president's own education department found, whop whoops, no lasting benefit. >> smaller than expected from head start, but head start doesn't have all the things of a high quality program. john: so they have great success in oklahoma and georgia? >> well, oklahoma has pretty good success. georgia has some success, and it turns out compared to what they spend on it, probably enough to generate a positive benefit cost ratio. steve: this is what i don't get. you say "success," from i read, georgia started the program 20 years ago. you'd think they'd lead the nation now in the goals. they are not. no gains by 4 #th grade, raised graduation rates, 4th grade reading schools, close the minority achievement gap. none of the states have done that. steven, i know your group at
rutgers gets money from the education department, but i assume you are objective about this, see failure after failure, the country's going broke, but you want to spend more money on this? >> well, the country can't afford not to spend money on this. the reason we are going broke is the high cost of things that are avoidable and can be prevented by quality education. john: steven, isn't it true that we do well in 4th grade, in reading fall behind by 8th grade, and 12th grate, we're way behind. >> well, by 12th grade, they are not the same kids. we have to wait for the 4th and 8th graders to get to 12th grade and see how they do then. john: darcy, your turn. >> well, i just think the whole thing is really ridiculous, and i think what parents out there really need to know is that preschool is not going to get your child into harvard, and it's not going to keep your ild out of jail. many america, when children
interkindergarten, the department of education's own data, they have all the qualities that teachers say are important, they are enthusiastic, eager to learn, good heah, know their abc's and numbers because parents know best, using now a variety of ways to teach their children. some at home, some in programs, some in church day care facilities. parents know what the individual children need, and they are doing a great job getting them ready for school. it's in the later years we have the problems, and that's where we need to focus school reform. i just want parents out there to know that preschool is not a silver bullet, and if you, you know, for a preschool to be beneficial to your child, it has to be better than the setting that they are currently in so if that preschool is better than what you're doing at home or better than t situation you've got your kids in, take advantage of it, but if not, keep doing what you are doing. john: a bigger question how should taxpayers pay for all of
outside my office to yell at me, they said teachers need more money. need more money. if teachers were valued in paid like lawyers or executives then it would be better. many people believe that, but it is a mess. america has been more, much more. we have triple spending for students. since i was in college, the blue line on the chart triple. student achievement and math, reading, and science, they did not improve and all. so what happened to all the money? we don't know. the government monopoly squanders money in los angeles where they spend half a billion dollars to build the school, the most expensive one in america. they planted palm trees, did elegant landscaping, but in this beautiful swimming pool, even something called the cocoanut grove modeled after a night club. a very nice, but education, not so nice. the school graduates just 56 percent of its students.
schools in oakland, they aren't as fancy, but the students do better. they get top test scores. so they move to shed his schools down. teachers protesting me for my stupid in america show said, union teachers are as -- are the solution. when i complained about stupid union rules they said, no. our rules are good and necessary if cities with less strain, let us train and evaluate teachers, we would do a great job. we have the expertise, the intelligence, the experience to be able to do what works for children. now, although the union does not like charter schools, they say if you have charters the union could create a school where every parent would want to send their children. so, they were given a shot, the united federation of teachers a charter school of their own. we welcomed the chance to show them what this union can do,